Drug Enforcement Administration

Chicago

Robert J. Bell , Special Agent in Charge

October 04, 2019

Contact: Cori Rizman

Phone Number: (312) 353-7875

Federal & state charges announced in long-term methamphetamine investigation

MADISON, WIS. Federal, state, and local officials announced that 16 people have been charged with drug crimes following a long-term investigation of methamphetamine distribution in the Wausau, Wisconsin area.

The charges were announced today by Robert J. Bell, Special Agent in Charge for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Chicago Division; Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin; Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul; Marathon County District Attorney Theresa Wetzsteon; FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Hughes; Wausau Police Chief Benjamin Bliven; Marathon County Sheriff Scott Parks; and Lincoln County Sheriff Ken Schneider.

Twelve people have been charged in indictments returned by a federal grand jury on September 19, 2019, as follows:

1. Lisa Xiong, 31, Wausau, is charged with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, with three counts of distributing 5 grams or more of methamphetamine, and with possessing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to distribute;

2. Chong Chueneng Moua, 51, St. Paul, Minnesota, is charged with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, and with possessing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to distribute;

3. Chou Xiong, 36, Wausau, is charged with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, seven counts of distributing 5 grams or more; and one count of distributing 50 grams or more;

4. Soua Khang, 23, Wausau, is charged with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, and three counts of distributing methamphetamine;

5. Ya Yang, 31, Wausau, is charged with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine;

6. John Gates, 49, Hewitt, Wisconsin, is charged with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, and two counts of attempting to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute;

7. Chai Thao, 34, Wausau, is charged with two counts of distributing methamphetamine, with one count alleged to involve 50 grams or more;

8. Sandy Vang, 49, Wausau, is charged with three counts of distributing methamphetamine, with two counts alleged to involve 5 grams or more;

9. Ger Moua, 31, Wausau, is charged with three counts of distributing methamphetamine, with one count alleged to involve 5 grams or more, and one count alleged to involve 50 grams or more; with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and with being a felon in possession of a firearm;

10. Vang C. Yang, 26, St. Paul, Minnesota, is charged with two counts of distributing methamphetamine;

11. Meng Xiong, 26, Wausau, is charged with two counts of distributing methamphetamine, with one count alleged to involve 5 grams or more; and

12. Dao Thao, 39, St. Paul, Minnesota, is charged with possessing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

The conspiracy is alleged to have operated from November 2018 to June 2019. The indictment alleges that the amount of methamphetamine in the conspiracy attributable to the conduct of Lisa Xiong is 500 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine, and with respect to defendant Chong Chueneng Moua, Soua Khang, and Chou Xiong, the amount of methamphetamine attributable to their conduct is 50 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine.

If convicted, Lisa Xiong faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum of life in federal prison. The counts alleging 50 grams or more of methamphetamine carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years is prison. The charges that allege the distribution of a mixture of methamphetamine carry a maximum penalty of 20 years; the drug charges that allege distribution of 5 grams or more of pure methamphetamine carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years. Ger Moua faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years on the charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, which federal law mandates be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed, and a maximum of 10 years on the felon in possession of a firearm charge.

District Attorney Wetzsteon announced that four people will face state charges in Marathon County, as follows:

1. Kai Chang, 28, Wausau, is charged with conspiracy to possess methamphetamine as a habitual criminality repeater;

2. David Castillo-Lopez, 30, Wausau, is charged with conspiracy to possess methamphetamine as a habitual criminality repeater;

3. Mai Xiong, 32, Wausau, is charged with delivery of methamphetamine (10 to 50 grams), as a party to the crime, as a habitual criminality repeater; and;

4. Par Y. Her, 61, Wausau, has been charged in Marathon County Case 19CF1033 with delivery of methamphetamine (3 to 10 grams) and delivery of methamphetamine (10 to 50 grams), both as a habitual criminality repeater.

U.S. Attorney Blader said, "As United States Attorney, I want to make it clear to those who choose to distribute these dangerous drugs for profit - you are a priority for law enforcement, and my office will work with our local, state, and federal partners to prosecute you and send you to federal prison. Those who are pouring these substances into Wisconsin from out of state should be on notice that we will use all resources available to us, including the Central Wisconsin Narcotics Task Force, to identify you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law."

The charges announced today are the result of an investigation by the Central Wisconsin Narcotics Task Force. The members of the task force include the Marathon and Lincoln County Sheriffs’ Offices, Wausau and Everest Metro Police Departments, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, and Drug Enforcement Administration. In addition, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted in the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Schlipper is handling the prosecution of those facing federal charges. Marathon County Assistant District Attorney Kyle Mayo is handling the prosecution of those facing state charges.

You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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